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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Updates from VAE Nortrak, ARINC, CAF and Alstom


• VAE GmbH’s U.S. subsidiary VAE Nortrak North America Inc. has acquired the assets of Leading Edge Enterprises Inc., which supplies specialty track components. Leading Edge's Decatur, Ill., facility will operate under the banner of VAE Nortrak, which provides trackwork components and turnout systems. The acquisition will strengthen VAE GmbH’s ability to serve the North American freight- and transit-rail sectors, the company said.

• ARINC Inc. is deploying video cameras and advanced surveillance software at 14 additional Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) passenger-rail stations under the second phase of a video surveillance contract partially funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In October 2008, ARINC completed work on 11 stations and a monitoring facility under a Phase 1 contract. The surveillance project is designed to enhance security and public safety for Baltimore’s subway and light-rail system, and MARC commuter-rail service. ARINC is responsible for the design, integration and installation of the surveillance system, which features remote-control cameras.

• CAF won a contract from the United Kingdom’s Department for Regional Development-Translink to supply 20 trains for the Northern Ireland Railways. The Class 4000 trains will replace 13 older units and operate alongside an existing fleet of 23 Class 3000 trains CAF delivered in 2005. CAF will deliver the new trains between 2011 and 2013. Earlier this month, CAF obtained a $320 million contract from the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris, Texas to supply 103 light-rail vehicles (LRVs) and provide maintenance services for eight years. The LRVs will be delivered between spring 2012 and summer 2014.

• On March 18, Alstom Transport delivered the first Citadis tramset for the Algiers tramway. A Mediterrail consortium, comprising Alstom, ETRHB and Todini, is building the tramway. Algiers metro operator EMA has ordered 41 Citadis tramsets, of which 12 currently are being manufactured and four are awaiting delivery authorization. The consortium plans to deliver two to three tramsets per month.